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Mobile

  • Preserving Botswana’s history via apps? It’s happening

    A new initiative aims to preserve Botswana's history in a series of mobile apps. The Heritage Series of apps, by Botswana's own Intellegere Media, delivers an app for each major tribe in the country, telling their story and charting their history. Itumeleng Garebatshabe, Intellegere Holdings founder and CEO, explains in a statement that acquiring digital information is a cornerstone of the project: The idea began in 2012 when we launched the Project 120 which was aimed at creating mobile applications which were fully focused on Botswana. The idea was to preserve our culture through mobile apps, first; for the future generations to know their history...

  • Microsoft sells its feature phone unit for $350m, Nokia devices coming

    Microsoft's mobile divisions are no stranger to upheaval. After all, the US company added Nokia's mobile unit to the stable several years ago and mobile saw plenty of layoffs last year. Now, there's more big news as the Redmond company is spinning off the feature phone unit. The US company has announced plans to sell the feature phone business to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of manufacturing colossus Foxconn, and HMD Global for US$350-million. The deal will also see Microsoft selling its Vietnamese manufacturing facility to Foxconn. "Upon close of this deal, approximately 4500 employees will transfer to, or have the opportunity to join, FIH Mobile Ltd. or HMD Global,...

  • 5 interesting takeaways from Vodacom’s 2015/2016 annual earnings data

    Vodacom has this week released (pdf) its financial numbers for 2015 (ending 31 March 2016), and based on the digits, it's had a good one. This especially so when compared to its rival MTN. Although the latter still rules the roost in terms of nearly five times more African subscribers, Vodacom has seen a bit of a boom with its data offerings, subscriber growth and infrastructure improvements. "I am very pleased with our performance this year, with strong execution of our strategy delivering solid results," remarks CEO of Vodacom, Shameel Joosub, in the document. "The acceleration in network investment over the past...

  • You can now search for your next house within FNB’s mobile app

    South African banking institution FNB today updated its app with the ability to search for property. That's right, FNB is now expanding its reach into yet another market for consumers. This new feature -- called #House (with # seeming to be a new naming scheme in marketing) -- allows customers to look for home services, find property 'nearby,' and even check your applications online, among other things. It's all quite nifty for those wanting a house through FNB. Properties listed have a breakdown of bedrooms, bathrooms, garages, and floor area. They also have a detailed description of the property, mandate type, monthly...

  • Shocker! Instagram delivers updated Windows 10 app

    In a rather welcome surprise, Instagram has updated the Windows 10 Mobile version of their app. The update brings the same UI and much-maligned logo seen on the Android and iOS versions. "We have a new look! Our updated icon stays true to the camera and rainbow. The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app," the Facebook-owned company noted in the app description. The news is rather welcome and points to Windows 10 Mobile actually getting some love from Instagram. After all, the previous Instagram app for Windows Phone often languished for months...

  • Telegram now lets users edit messages after they’ve been sent

    Messaging app Telegram might be upstaged by WhatsApp in South Africa, but worldwide, it has amassed over 100-million users in its relatively short existence. Now the company has released an updated version of its app, which allows users to edit messages after they've been sent. "Simply tap and hold on a message, then press ‘Edit’. If you're on desktop, press the up arrow button to edit your last message. The messages will display a small ‘edited’ label so that it's easy to tell which were altered," the company explains in its blog. This will work in both private and group chats. Other new...

  • Viking Horde is the latest malware on Google Play

    App stores aren't immune to malware by any means, and now it's Google's turn to experience some nastiness. The latest malware, dubbed Viking Horde, creates a botnet to carry out ad fraud, effectively using proxied IP addresses to conduct ad clicks. In turn, this provides revenue for the attacker, Check Point Research explained in a press statement. The botnet affects rooted and non-rooted devices alike. Check Point added that at least five cases of Viking Horde have passed through Google Play scans undetected so far. In fact, the most popular instance of Viking Horde stems from a game, dubbed Viking Jump, which...

  • WhatsApp finally releases proper desktop app

    Whatsapp has dabbled in desktop waters before, but now, the world's most popular mobile instant messenger seems to be going all-in. Yes, after years of user requests, the Facebook-owned company has finally launched a proper desktop app for Windows and Mac computers. It's not the first time that WhatsApp has brought the platform to desktop, launching the WhatsApp Web service last year. This earlier browser-based service used a QR code system to mirror your phone's WhatsApp data. The desktop app works in a similar way, effectively mirroring your phone's WhatsApp messages, chats and contacts. In other words, it's not a standalone offering as...

  • Periscope introduces new features, broadcast search and drone integration

    Periscope today upped its rivalry with Facebook Live Video by introducing a host of new features. The new features follow last week's release of a beta version that include a feature that allows users to save broadcasts for longer than 24 hours. The new features include broadcast search and an integration with DJI drones. Users can now search for broadcasts by title or topic by using the Global list search button. Users will then be able to see a list of recommended topics with topics like travel, music, food, and others. Searching for titles also work in the same...

  • Opera VPN app launches exclusively for iPhone and iPad

    Opera, the Norwegian based technology company, has been churning out new product after product this year. After fitting its desktop browser with a new VPN service, updated its Opera Mini browser with build-in ad-blocking facilities, and polished its Opera Max data reduction service, its now looking exclusively at iOS. The company has now launched a VPN app exclusively for the likes of the iPhone and iPad, in a bid to win over Apple's faithful. But how is this different to the VPN service within Opera desktop browser? For one, the VPN app is now device-wide, encompassing all traffic, unlike its browser-only cousin. The...

  • Mobile phones don’t cause brain cancer, massive 30-year Australian study finds

    Good news, selfie addicts. A new study published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology suggests that mobile phones, or excessive use of the critters, don't cause brain cancer, or cause a marked rise in new cases. For 30 years, researchers in Australia (the University of Sydney, to be exact) examined nearly 20 000 men and 14 222 women diagnosed with brain cancer between 1982 and 2012, and compared this to Australia's mobile phone usage data from 1987 to 2012, noting the spike in the latter. Essentially, the researchers couldn't find a correlation between the booming mobile phone usage rate in Australia...

  • Companies, ask these two questions when developing your app

    "There is an app for that" is one of the most common phrases exchanged amongst smartphone owners. From hailing a taxi, to checking your bank balance, there is almost an app for everything. However, as a brand or SME who has not yet jumped onto this app bandwagon, should you rush in headfirst and join in? With over 1.5-million apps in each App Store (looking at just Apple and Google), should you really add another app to that list? For the last 7 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with brands in their apps execution strategies (back when the word...

  • Real-time horror movie ‘Sickhouse’ scares on mobile using Snapchat, Vimeo

    Snapchat's a platform hosting a swathe of diverse content on the daily, so it seems fitting that a movie is made using it, right? Well, that's what Indigenous Media believes. The company's producing the "first-ever scripted film, shot in real time, designed for mobile viewing" called Sickhouse. And by that title alone, we're sure you can surmise that it's a horror. The film will also make its way onto Vimeo, where users can currently preorder it. The film is "about a group of friends obsessed with social media whose excursion into the woods to explore the lore of Sickhouse turns deadly,...

  • South Africa is set for a mobile data explosion

    South Africa is set to experience an explosion in mobile data usage, with nine-fold growth predicted in the next four years. On the face of it, that shouldn't be all that surprising. Ever since the first cellphones arrived in the country in the mid 90s, South Africa has been mobile-obsessed. For some time now, the country has had more mobile phones in use than people. Smartphones have seen rapid uptake too. But even as smartphones have become increasingly affordable, the data that allows them to be smart has remained unaffordable for many. According to networking giant Cisco, that is...

  • BBM video calling comes to Android, iOS

    Canadian company BlackBerry might not be cooking up loving dinners for its operating system anymore, but it's not about to let its Messenger platform (BBM) go hungry. The company has now announced that Android and iOS users of its BBM beta app can now video call one other like Beyonce. Speaking about the new feature, SVP of emerging solutions Matthew Talbot noted that video calling was one of the chief requests users had for the BlackBerry Messenger platform: Video is the closest thing to being physically present. We know why that’s more important for personal calls—bridging the distance with our loved ones,...